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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH                       27

person formally is by his courtesy name without his family name, with
uMr." added to it. In addition many scholars adopt special poetic
names (hao) on various occasions as names for their libraries or studies
—names that are often used in their seals,- and by which they are popu-
larly known once they become famous. Others are sometimes referred
to by the names of their collected works. A few who rise to a position
of national importance are referred to by the name of their home town.
(A Chinese Wendell Willkie might have been known as "Indiana
Willkie", and F.D.R. would have been entitled to be called "Hyde Park
Roosevelt". A great many eminent officials received also a posthumous
honorific title.

Su senior's personal name was Shun; his courtesy name, Mingyun;
and the poetic name by which he was commonly known, Laochuany
which came from the name of his family cemetery. The elder son was
Su Shih; his courtesy name was Tsechan, and his poetic name, Tungpo.
This last comes from his poetic title, "Recluse of Tungpo", the name
he adopted for himself when he was living in banishment on the
Eastern Slope (Tungpo) of Huangchow. This in time became the name
by which he was and is popularly known all over China. Chinese
records usually refer to him as "Tungpo", without "Su", or sometimes
as "Mr. Tungpo". His complete works sometimes go by his post-
humous title of Wen Chung Kung or "Literary Patriotic Duke", the
title conferred on him by tie emperor about seventy years after his
death. Poetic critics sometimes refer to him with great respect by his
home district: as Su Meichow. The younger brother's name was Su
Cheh, his courtesy name Tseyu; in his old age, living in retirement,
he styled himself "the Old Recluse on the Bank of the Ying River".
He was therefore sometimes referred to in Chinese works as Su
Yingpin, and sometimes as Su Lucmcheng, Luancheng being the title
of his collected works and of the district of the remote ancestry of the
Su family, situated near Chengting, south of Peking, whence the family
had come to live at Meichow two hundred years earlier.

As one Chinese name per person is more than enough for the Western
reader to follow, I shall always call the father Su Shun, the elder sou
Su Tungpo, and the younger son Su Tseyu, following the prevailing
Chinese practice. The confusion arising from so many names adopted
by one scholar takes up a great deal of the time of a student doing
research in Chinese history. In Su Tungpo's time at least eight persons
had the same name, Mengteh, which meant that the person's mother,
before she conceived, had dreamed that she had a boy.

When Tungpo was sixteen, there was an episode which put a heavy
strain on the relationship between the father's and the mother's family,
and which reveals something of the father's character. As often hap-

B*